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Watercolour Landscapes

Watercolour Landscapes

This is a great project for kids of all ages, and even for adults. Looking at landscapes as a theme allows the exploration of a number of things……..line, colour, pattern, shape, scale, proportion, repetition, perspective……….and it is a relaxing process working with watercolours.

One thing I love about this project is the scale – working on card that has been cut a little skinnier than normal to exaggerate the landscape. This means the final product looks even more striking as it isn’t your standard A4 or A3 paper size.

I also love working with watercolours. Kids love them too – watch their moods mellow once their brushes dip into the water, and rub across the pigment, and then wash over the paper. Something about this process is very zen indeed! And we all need a bit of that at the moment.

Grab some watercolours, a bowl of water, a couple of brushes, and a piece of card. If you want to be a bit more artsy work with some watercolour parchment paper – which is lovely and thick and textured – perfect for controlling the colours. Otherwise just use some white card. Paper is ok – it does tend to warp and buckle a bit however – but if thats all you have – go for it!

Cut your paper or card a little thinner, and lay it out Landscape format. Start by painting in a HORIZON LINE – a straight line running across the centre to seperate the ground from the sky, then add in a few mountains along the horizon line. Paint in your mountains dark blue – maybe blend in a bit of green too.

Paint in the bottom half with a range of colours – doesn’t need to be ‘traditional’ colours – just make it colourful. And fill in the sky with a few shades of blue.Get your whole page filled in.

Now section off the land with a road that comes from the distance (start narrow in the distance at the horizon line, and ring it the foreground wider) – this can be a road or a river, or a valley. It is a nice way to add structure to your landscape, and will guide the viewers eye off the distance. 

Break up the other areas into smaller paddocks or fields. Now its time to add in trees. Working with the green paint add in small little blobs along the horizon line for the small trees in the distance – and then make some slightly larger trees in the middle ground. Talk about SCALE, and how things appear smaller in the distance.

Now create some simple patterns in the paddocks to reflect crops or grass – stripes, criss crosses, tuffs of grass, spots ……….and how about some apples on those trees (am I starting to sound like Bob Ross yet??).

Just remember to not go too overboard with the paint – you don’t want things getting to wet and soggy and muddy. One tip is to use a hairdryer in between layers – just to dry off each layer, so you can control your painting. Or just work slowly and take your time. No need for speed.

Make sure you also look at a couple of iconic Australian landscape artists like Fred Williams, and William Robinson.

We would love to see your landscapes. Be sure to share with us! Let us know what you think in the comments below. Who is your favourite landscape artist?

Until next time.

Tracy x

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